A&S Learning Design & Technology Knowledge Base

Introduction to Grading in UVACanvas

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These tips, though not meant to be exhaustive, will help instructors get started on grading in UVACanvas.

Support resources are available via Canvas 24/7, and through UVA staff in Learning Technology Services (aka collab-support) and A&S Learning Design & Technology (A&S instructors & graduate TAs).

Graded Elements in the Gradebook

Canvas builds the Gradebook in Grades where it creates a column for each of the following components:

  1. Assignments:

Assignments are used to assess students’ understanding and competency. An instructor can create an assignment that is to be submitted online (i.e. files, images, text, URLs, etc.) or on paper.

Assignments can also include Quizzes and Discussions.

Learn more about the different types of Assignments.

  1. Quizzes:

Quizzes are used to challenge students’ understanding and assess comprehension of course material. An instructor can create online quizzes or exams using the Quizzes tool.

Note: Canvas currently allows you to create 2 types of quizzes: Classic Quiz and New Quiz.

  1. Discussions:

Discussions are interactive conversations between two or more members of the class. A Discussion can simply be a forum for communication, or can be created by the instructor as an assignment for grading purposes.

Entering Grades

Speedgrader allows you to view and grade student assignment submissions in one place. You can access Speedgrader from Grades or from an Assignment, Quiz, or graded Discussion.

Once you are in Speedgrader, you can view student submissions for each assessment.

Top 10 Grading Elements in UVACanvas

1. Grade Posting Policy

By default, grades do not auto-publish in UVACanvas Grades. For students to see their grades, you will need to publish grades. This is similar to UVACollab. Grades can be published from inside the Grades tool.

If you prefer all grades be visible to students automatically, you can set the Grade Posting Policy to Automatically Post Grades. Note that automatically posting grades may generate notifications to students immediately when a grade is assigned to them. 

It is recommended to set your desired Grade Posting Policy before grading any assignments. Anything graded prior to changing grade posting from manual to automatic will still have to be posted manually.

2. Weighted Grades and Assignment Groups

You can create Assignment Groups to organize the assignments in your course.

Note: Assignment Groups are OPTIONAL UNLESS you are assigning weights to assignments to calculate the final grade. In this case, you MUST set up Assignment groups and designate weights for each group.

Screenshot of Assignment Group options with Assignment Groups Weight circled in blue

3. Grading Scheme

You can enable the default grading scheme set by UVA or add a new one specific to your course.

Note: any changes made to the default grading scheme will NOT be reflected in the Export Grades to SIS tool in UVACanvas. If you change your grading schemes within Canvas settings, you MUST also update your grading schemes within the Export Grades to SIS tool.

4. Allowing Multiple Submissions for an Assignment

You can adjust how many submission attempts are allowed. All submissions for an Assignment are viewable in Speedgrader. 

5. Moderated Grading

This setting allows multiple reviewers to create provisional grades for review by the instructor, which may be helpful for courses that utilize TAs or student graders.

6. Peer-Reviewed Assignments 

This setting within Assignments allows students to provide feedback on another student's assignment submission. You can adjust the number of peer reviews required per submission, assign reviewers manually or automatically, and make peer reviews anonymous.

Screenshot of the Peer Review function in Canvas Assignments

7. Paper (non-online) or No Submission Assignments

For Assignments that students submit in-person, or don't require them to submit something via UVACanvas, you can use the On Paper or No Submission types.

8. Creating and Using a Rubric

Rubrics are a way to set up custom or Outcome-based assessment criteria for scoring. Rubrics are used as grading criteria for students and can be added to Assignments, Quizzes, and graded Discussions.

A sample rubric in Canvas

9. Attendance

The Attendance (Roll Call) tool is an external app (LTI) used for taking attendance in Canvas courses. The Attendance tool can be used for online or face-to-face courses.

Screenshot of the Attendance tool, which is also called Roll Call in Canvas

10. Extra Credit

While extra credit is not currently a default option in Canvas, you can give students extra credit through various settings within the Assignments tool, Rubrics, the Quizzes tool, SpeedGrader, and Assignment Groups.

UVACanvas to UVACollab Gradebook Comparison

This chart provided by Learning Technology Services shows you a comparison of UVACanvas features equivalent to UVACollab's Gradebook options.


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